Heitor Villa-Lobos' two numbered cello concerti come from the opposite ends of his output; the first Grande Concerto dates from 1915 and the second from 1953. In between there is another concertante work, the Fantasia for cello and orchestra, which is contemporaneous with the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for soprano and eight cellos that remains Villa-Lobos' most popular work. In this MD&G issue, Heitor Villa-Lobos: Concertos for Violoncello and Orchestra, cellist Ulrich Schmid is heard with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie under conductor Dominique Roggen in the numbered concertos only, although there easily would have been enough room on the 42-minute-long disc to accommodate the Fantasia as well.
Watch and listen as Master Pastelist Albert Handell works in his studio combining several reference photographs to paint In The Cedar Grove At Point Lobos. Mr. Handell demonstrates and explains his technique by first developing the composition and drawing with a pencil on sanded pastel paper. Next, he creates a watercolor underpainting to establish the color harmony and value pattern. See close up how he emonstrates the importance of "the touch" as he layers pastels and works with various colors of similar value to achieve luminous passages with sharp and "sleepy" edges. As the video flows Mr.Handell pauses to explain in detail what he has done in the drawing, underpainting, and painting process. See how he adds "sparkle" with his finishing touches.
Los Lobos are often referred to as one of music's best kept secrets. Although garnering significant critical acclaim, decent album sales, and a devoted fan base who turn out in droves for every tour, the band never really reached the superstar status of some of the artists, like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Melissa Etheridge, who have opened for them in the past. This might be due to the fact that the band's music is so damn eclectic and hard to categorize. It draws equally from rock, Tex-Mex, country, R&B, blues, and traditional Mexican folk influences. As I watched this performance I was reminded of Santana, Cream, ZZ-Top, and The Allman Brothers all within the span of about four songs. This DVD commemorates Los Lobos' thirty year anniversary as a band, and twenty years since the release of their first full length album How Will The Wolf Survive.
The young Polish musician Krzysztof Meisinger (b. 1984) is one of the most fascinating and charismatic guitarists of his generation. With the legendary Academy of St Martin in the Fields under the direction of the Brazilian conductor José Maria Florêncio, he has recorded the famous Guitar Concerto of Heitor Villa-Lobos. In this work of 1951, Villa-Lobos paid eloquent homage to the guitar’s qualities as a concert instrument. The recording also includes the Five Preludes for solo guitar, and an arrangement of Melodia Sentimental for guitar, violin, and string orchestra. This programme – recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London! – ideally displays the flexibility of a young soloist ready to conquer the world with his bewitching playing.